August 11, 2006

Speaking of family ...

... the New York Times actually admits that family -- FAMILY -- plays a crucial role in children's education!

Unfortunately, it recycles educational retreads like James S. Coleman and Richard Rothstein to help them make its points.

Coleman was dubbed "The Scholar Who Inspired Busing" by the National Observer way back when. Coleman was an inspiration for New Castle County's busing program back beginning in 1978, and Rothstein was featured in a Wilmington News Journal article a couple years ago where he advocated "integration, by income, to narrow the achievement gap." He also said

"... he doubted busing to integrate by income would be any more welcome in America than busing based on racial balancing. He believes a campaign to produce housing integrated by income is the better strategy."

Unfortunately, that's about as socially acceptable as busing was (and is). How would Rothstein accomplish this -- by putting a Section 8 housing project smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood of half a million dollar homes? How would this produce kids that read better -- especially if the families in the Section 8 are dysfunctional? Are the wealthier families supposed to pick up "the slack"?

I'm certainly curious what research Rothstein has -- real scientific research -- that proves his thesis about housing integration improving learning. Because, after all, Coleman changed his tune about how busing would improve the academic achievement of poor[er] students. (In other words, he was proved wrong.)

(Thanks to Hube for the research assist.)

Posted by Felix at August 11, 2006 01:34 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

If you put section 8 houses in the middle of a half million dollar neighborhood, you'll quickly find those houses are not worth half a mil very long.

The idea is that the poor kids will be lifted along with the rich kids who perform better in school. No amount of good teaching can overcome parents who don't teach their kids to value education and work with them.

My mom has been teaching since Jesus was a corporal and she said she can tell in two days which kids' parents read to them and which don't.

Posted by: Duffy at August 11, 2006 02:02 PM

Actually, fellas, there is some empirical data that backs up the successes of mixed-use, mixed-income housing, not just on education but on a variety of social data. The key is that it is not 'forced,' but is voluntary.

Posted by: FirstState at August 12, 2006 10:53 AM

Anything that is voluntary can't be half bad, certainly when compared to anything forced. Too bad the voluntary busing plan that the state legislature proposed pre-1978 wasn't accepted by the feds (Murray Schwartz) as legitimate.

Posted by: Hube at August 12, 2006 11:00 AM

Hey, if this is all volunteer, then by all means, go nuts. I, like Hube, think things go sideways when you start forcing people to do this type of thing.

Posted by: Duffy at August 14, 2006 10:09 AM